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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Mon Sep 7, 2009, 12:57 AM
Number of posts: 5,975

Journal Archives

Arron Banks loses Russia libel case against Carole Cadwalladr

Mr Banks, the founder of the pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU, sued Ms Cadwalladr for defamation over two instances in 2019 - one in a TED Talk video and another in a tweet.

Mr Banks claimed he was defamed after comments Ms Cadwalladr made about his relationship with the Russian state.

In the ruling, Mrs Justice Steyn dismissed Mr Banks' claim, concluding that Ms Cadwalladr held a "reasonable belief" that her comments were in the public interest.
Ms Cadwalladr, who first reported the Cambridge Analytica data scandal where harvested data was used during elections, pleaded a public interest defence which allows a defendant to justify themselves based on the reason that the information was in the public interest.


Banks has indicated that it's "likely" he will appeal the ruling.

A few of Tuesday's newspaper front pages


Government "Anti-Corruption Tsar" quits in disgust before no-confidence vote this evening

As the post-jubilee hangovers kick in, this is a great way to start off a day when we may see a no-confidence vote against Johnson carried in the Commons:

John Penrose

Iím sorry to have to resign as the PMís Anti-Corruption Tsar but, after his reply last week about the Ministerial Code, itís pretty clear he has broken it. Thatís a resigning matter for me, and it should be for the PM too. Hereís my letter to him explaining why.

Official: PM to face vote of confidence today

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, has announced the 54-letter threshold for triggering a vote of confidence on the PM's leadership has now been breached.

The vote will take place this evening between 6pm and 8pm. The votes will be counted immediately afterwards but it is currently unclear exactly when the result will be announced.

Sir Graham said in a statement: "The threshold of 15 per cent of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded.

ďIn accordance with the rules, a ballot will be held between 1800 and 2000 TODAY MONDAY 6th JUNE ó details to be confirmed.

ďThe votes will be counted immediately afterwards. An announcement will be made at a time to be advised. Arrangements for the announcement will be released later today.Ē

Live updates here (none of them good news for Johnson so far): https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/06/06/boris-johnson-news-confidence-vote-partygate-tory-mps/

A few of tomorrow's newspaper front pages

Cornered in an awkward interview with Suzannah Reid ...

Johnson desperately attempts an "Angela Rayner" manoeuvre:

Best for Britain

.@susannareid100 asks PM what he would do to help pensioner Elsie who canít afford to stay at home because keeping heating on is too expensive & travels round London on bus all day

Johnson says that as London mayor he introduced the 24hr freedom bus pass

[Twitter video]

It excited a few reactions:
Alan Ferrier 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇺🇦

"Boris asked me to check that you're warm enough."

Matthew Highton

Boris Johnson showing heís the sort of man who, if told by Susanna Reid people had been eating out of bins to stay alive, he would proudly announce he was the one who decided to empty bins less in order for people to have more access to food.

James Felton

Weíre keeping pensioners warm by making them take unnecessary bus trips all fucking day, vote Tory

James Felton
Iím sure the elderly riding maskless packed busses to try not to freeze to death will have no consequences during a pandemic

Michael Spicer

Thanks to my free helmet scheme, people are protected whenever I decide to attack them with a baseball bat.

Susanna Reid

The Prime Minister has had his say. The commentators have had theirs.

Now have yours. My full Downing St interview with Boris Johnson:

The Conservative Party and Putin's Russia: a story of total moral failure [Twitter video]

It's a 10-minute video, but worth the investment of time:
Led By Donkeys

The Conservative Party and Putin's Russia: a story of total moral failure

[Twitter video]

Just in case anyone imagines any new leaves are being turned over by our glorious party of government ...
BBC Politics

"Both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked - at least I didn't get up and slap anybody"

Chancellor Rishi Sunak tells @BBCLauraK he finds criticism aimed at his wife over shares she owns in a company operating in Russia "very upsetting"

#BBCNewscast https://bbc.in/35upXng

[Twitter video]

Somebody needs to tell Sunak he needn't compete so hard in the Utter Crassness Heats during the jostling for position of Johnson's successor. He likely has it in the bag given his inability to grasp mere commoners' household economics anyway.

If she likes Russia so much, why doesn't she go live there?

Sorry, I'm relishing throwing back a line that was regularly chucked at we Western peaceniks when we were trying to do something about impending nuclear armageddon back in the 1980s.

I may not tire of doing this any time soon.

PMQs: "... what first attracted the Prime Minister to the billionaire Russian oligarchs?"


Jon Jones

If you missed it, here's the video of the best PMQs question ever asked by @MattWestern_

Great work, Matt. 👍

[Twitter video with subtitles]

For our American friends, this is a riff on a legendary question the late great Caroline Aherne's character "Mrs Merton" asked UK celebrity magician Paul Daniels' wife Debbie McGee during Merton's spoof talk show.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on way home to UK. UPDATE: Now back in the UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman detained in Iran nearly six years ago, is on her way to the UK, her MP has said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was at the airport in Tehran, Tulip Siddiq told BBC News.

She is in a holding room with fellow British-Iranian detainee Anoosheh Ashoori, she said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 - accused of plotting to overthrow Iran's government, which she denied.


Latest reports from a number of sources are that her plane has now taken off safely.

No doubt Johnson and Truss will preen and gloat later when she finally lands, but nobody should forget that her captivity might have ended years ago had Johnson not opened his stupid gob at the wrong moment, and even then, her and her family's ordeal could have almost certainly been cut short if the government had settled its debt to Iran earlier.


Alex Tiffin

NEW - The moment you have all been waiting for!

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashouri reunited with their families.


[Twitter video]

It looks like the Ratcliffes' reunion took place behind the privacy screens, but here they are:

Intelligence Committee's brutal swipe at Boris Johnson for ignoring Russian cash fears

The Committee savaged the Prime Minister for ignoring their repeated calls to ensure the UK is 'no longer a safe haven for the oligarchy and their enablers'

The Committee sent the Prime Minister a copy of the Russia report along with a detailed classified annex more than two years ago highlighting the need to disrupt "illicit financial activity".


At the time, the committee said the Government was "slow to recognise the existence of the threat" of Russian meddling and influence.


"As the Intelligence and Security Committee made very clear in its 'Russia' report, the UK has been welcoming Russian money for many years with few questions - if any - being asked about the provenance of this considerable wealth.

"When we sent our report, together with a detailed classified annex, to the Prime Minister over two years ago, we highlighted then that there was an urgent need for the UK Government to disrupt this illicit financial activity, and questioned the efficacy of the measures which were in place.

"It is hoped now that this new legislation is at least the first step toward giving the authorities - and in particular the National Crime Agency which leads this effort - the necessary clout and greater powers to ensure the UK is no longer a safe haven for the oligarchy and their enablers."


It says the scheme allowed a route for dirty money to be "recycled" in "what has been referred to as the London 'laundromat'.

And it's not just money that was laundered.

It says the money was invested in building influence across the UK establishment - including "PR firms, charities, political interests, academia and cultural institutions" - all of whom were "willing beneficiaries of Russian money."


I can't be the only person who's incandescent every time I see Johnson on TV braying about how Russia and these horrible oligarchs have to be hemmed in, knowing that he's partied, accepted favours from, and been in league with a number of them for years, and quite likely still is, as goodness knows what kompromat they have on him.

Now the shit's hit the fan in spectacular fashion, he can't be allowed to wriggle out of this corrupt mess he's been party to for far too long.

He's already sold the country down the river and indirectly and directly consigned too many to misery and death. When will enough be enough?
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